Interview Conducted 10/21/2008
Steve McClain, now in his second season as Colorado’s Associate Head Coach, has not been a stranger to success throughout his coaching career.
McClain compiled a 157-115 overall record in his nine seasons as Head Coach at Wyoming from 1998-2007. He led the Cowboys to one NCAA Tournament appearance and three NIT bids.
He was noted for his ability to recruit talented out-of-state players to a school that a Chicago Tribune sportswriter once referred to as “The Siberia of Division-I college basketball.”
Larimie, Wyo. is a remote town of just over 27,000 residents. Laramie has long, cold winters and is over 100 miles from Denver, the nearest large city. None of these factors were conducive to landing highly-touted recruits. In addition, few Few Division-I basketball recruits hail from the state of Wyoming.
MCCLAIN: “We tried to go find kids who had a great desire to get a college degree, but were more worried about how they could become a better basketball player, how they could develop the goals they wanted to reach, and they weren’t worried about how big the city was or how the night life was.”
“We had to focus on getting kids that were serious about getting an education and who wanted to play college basketball on the highest level. We didn’t sugarcoat it. We told them exactly how it was, because you’re not going to trick a kid.”
“Once we got a player to Wyoming, we knew we had as good of facilities as anyone in the country. If we could get them on campus, we’d have a great shot to get them.”
McClain’s contract was terminated on March 12, 2007.